Smart phones, tablets and laptops have made us super connected, but also super distracted. And it’s not just kids and teens. Many adults are experiencing the “digital drain” that can happen when we’re disengaged from the moment and focusing on a device. Constantly checking our social feeds and email can even be an addiction. Family issues, less productivity at work, even health problems can arise, which experts point out are classic signs of an addiction.
While it’s probably impossible to give up your devices for good, here are six ways to ease into a digital detox.
1. Take a break
Consider times throughout the day where you can take a break from your digital device, like first thing in the morning or your lunchbreak. This will give your mind a chance to rest and can even kick-start your creative juices.
2. Leave it at home
Leave your phone at home on purpose. Or if that’s too much, simply leave it in another room of your house. Just a few hours without a phone and the desire to check it can help break the cycle.
3. No more notifications
Turn off notifications so you’re not tempted by constant pings or vibrations. Then schedule specific times to check in with your technology.
4. Consider a curfew
Plan to stop using your phone and devices at 9 pm, or at least an hour before you go to bed. There’s science behind this one—the blue light from devices can interfere with our natural circadian rhythm, also known as our internal body clock, and disrupt sleep cycles. Research also points to this extra light adding to weight gain and metabolic diseases.
5. Old school wake up
If you use your smart phone alarm to wake up in the morning, consider using a real alarm clock instead. And don’t touch your phone for the first hour after you wake up.
6. Tech-free zones
Create places in your home that are tech-free, like the dinner table or bedroom. Then you’ll have “you time” free from digital distractions so you and your family can catch up IRL (that’s in real life).